Jeweller of the Month - Kate Higgins October 15 2014

I thought we would take a closer look at some of the wonderful people who create the jewellery you adore. If you don’t already know, all the work at Arbor is made in Australia, mostly by independent designer/makers. That means one person who does it all – designs, makes, finishes and delivers.

Process photos of a commissioned ring

Process photos of a commissioned engagement ring

  

Tell us a little about your journey to being a jeweller. 

I've been making jewellery for 10 years now! Wow. I will forever be learning! I studied a Bachelor of Design originally, but to be honest I did the real learning on the job. Sitting for hours at a bench repeating the same hand skills over & over. I've been very fortunate to be taught & inspired by some fantastic jewellers.



What is the main process you use to create your work and why?

I have been traditionally trained, so generally handmake all my pieces, unless a cast or CAD version is going to be a better option for things like metal wastage or a clients budget. I genuinely believe a handmade piece is best though, and make my pieces this way wherever possible. Handmade pieces are "work-hardened" which causes the metal to become more dense, and therefore stronger. It will wear better over time.



What is the biggest inspiration for you when creating work?

I am often inspired by the antique pieces I frequently come into contact with. The Art Deco look especially. The skill & patience of jewellers past continually amazes me. In my own work I prefer a simpler aesthetic, but I do love incorporating some antique flourishes where I can.



What's your ultimate love and hate part of the entire process of making a piece? 

My absolute favourite part of the process is seeing the reaction of the client when they first see their beautiful ring. That is MY gold! My least favourite part of the process would have to be letting the piece go! Haha. 



What jewellery skill would you love to learn more about in the future?

I've dabbled in setting my own stones, and enjoyed that. So I'd love to learn more about that so I could customise my pieces further. You could spend 40 years still learning in this job! I don't think I'll ever get bored...
 
 
Men's wedding band in white gold
Kate Higgins' Classic Soft Facet Men's Ring, available online and in store at Arbor